International Studies and Programs
Michigan State University
International Center
427 N. Shaw Lane
Room 207
East Lansing MI 48824-1035
Tel: +1-517-355-2350
Fax: +1-517-353-7254
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Heidi Dysinger Budget and Financial Assistant
Office for Education Abroad

5 International Center

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Biography: Heidi began her employment at Michigan State University in 2010 in the Department of Geological Sciences. She received strong training and mentoring that led her to a two-level promotion and increased responsibility.

Heidi joined the Office of Study Abroad team in 2016 as an assistant in the Business Office. She works with program coordinators to process payments for education abroad programs, and assists faculty directors with the preparation and processing of their travel authorizations and advances. Heidi then works with them when they return from abroad to reconcile their expenses.

Chinwe Effiong Assistant Dean, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars and Youth Empowerment Programs
Office of the Dean

205 International Center

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Biography: Dr. Chinwe Effiong is Assistant Dean for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars and Youth Empowerment Programs. In this role she is responsible for providing leadership and management oversight to the MasterCard Foundation Scholars program, while leveraging MSU expertise to identify and scale new opportunities for global youth education, entrepreneurship and empowerment initiatives.

Before joining MSU, Dr. Effiong served as CEO of Junior Achievement (JA) in Africa, where she provided strategic direction and oversight for JA operations across sub-Saharan Africa. She worked closely with government, civil society groups and private sector stakeholders to raise awareness and promote support for programs that enabled young people in Africa to improve their livelihoods.

Dr. Effiong has made significant contributions to the global mission to create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth, especially young women, residing in the world’s most marginalized communities. She designed the groundbreaking entrepreneurship curriculum for out of school youth, popularly referred to as ITS TYME (Immersion Training Strategy: Targeting Young Marginalized Entrepreneurs). In partnership with Google volunteers, she also facilitated the creation of the JA SySTEM, an innovative curriculum designed to raise awareness about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) among middle and high school students, especially girls, across Africa.

Prior to joining JA, Dr. Effiong was the Director of Programs for Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership in Silver Spring, MD. She also worked for several years as Country Director for Nigeria and Regional Director for East and West Africa at Africare, a Washington, D.C. based, international development organization, addressing a wide range of development needs across the continent of Africa.

Dr. Effiong started her professional career as Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Lincoln University, PA and served as interim Chair of the Department of Political Science there. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Delaware and a B.A. in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. Dr. Effiong is a recognized thought leader in the field of youth education and entrepreneurship and has served on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative.

In addition to her professional work, Dr. Effiong is a creative writer and motivational speaker.

Helen Farr Secretary
Center for Advanced Study of International Development

202 International Center

Laurie Felton Secretary
Canadian Studies Center

306 International Center

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Biography: Laurie Felton has been with the Canadian Studies Center since November 2016 after a hiatus of 14 years away from MSU during which she homeschooled her two children.

Laurie graduated from MSU in 1985 with a B.A. in Music. Immediately, she began working in various offices on campus as a temporary office assistant until hired at the Kellogg Center as the hotel receptionist. When an office assistant position opened in the English Language Center, Laurie was hired, and there realized she had an affinity for and ease is communicating with international students. After the ELC, Laurie became the Graduate Secretary and T.A. Budget Officer in the Linguistics & Languages Department, a position she held for 12 years serving American and international graduate students from all over the globe. Before leaving MSU to homeschool, Laurie served as the Events department budget officer in University Development (now Advancement). Laurie still enjoys music, and appreciates both her degree and time spent as a student at Michigan State University.

Laurie would love to travel to Banff and Calgary in Alberta, Canada one day, too.

Anne Ferguson Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Engagement
Office of the Dean

207 International Center

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Biography: Dr. Anne Ferguson is the Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Engagement for ISP. She is also GenCen Co-Director and Professor of Anthropology, and does research and teaching on development studies, gender, agricultural and environmental change, and medical anthropology. Her early work in El Salvador in medical anthropology centered on the impacts of multinational pharmaceutical firms' business practices on health care provided at pharmacies, and on the integration of these companies' products into lay and alternative medical practices.

In the mid-1980s, Dr. Ferguson shifted her research focus to Southern Africa, where she has studied development initiatives in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, and water sector reform. Currently, her research centers on the gender dimensions of Malawi's new water and land reform policies. Much of Dr. Ferguson's research has been carried out in collaboration with colleagues at MSU and at the University of Malawi. Support for her research has come from the McArthur Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Rockefeller Foundation, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

In 2000, she received a Fulbright Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program grant to study the gender dimensions of Malawi's and Zimbabwe's water reforms. She teaches classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels on gender, environment, and health issues in global perspective.

Kathryn Fillinger Accountant
Office of the Dean

207 International Center

Mary Firdawsi Secretary
Muslim Studies Program

304 International Center

Mary Firdawsi Secretary
Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

304 International Center